Alfredo is traditionally made with lots of butter and parmesan cheese, here we make a healthier creamy vegan version based on cashew nuts and serve it with baked cauliflower and crispy thyme croutons – its a beautiful dish with lots of texture and is super tasty! Enjoy
300gLinguine/ fettuccine pasta – or ribbon pasta of choice or whole wheat noodles if you want to use healthier pasta
300mlnon dairy milk of choice
Juice of half a lemon
½tspfreshly ground black pepper
1head of cauliflower
4sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c fan assisted.
Fill and boil the kettle.
Roughly chop the cauliflower discarding any thick outer leaves and ensuring to keep some of the more delicate inner leaves.
Add the cashew nuts to a bowl and cover with just boiled water and leave to sit for 10 mins until nice and soft, drain and rinse well.
Fill a large pot of boiling water and add a tbsp of salt, add the pasta and then the chopped cauliflower to the pot. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. When cooked, remove the cauliflower using a slotted spoon onto a baking tray and drain the pasta to a colander as carefully as you can and drain the pasta, ensuring to reserve some of the pasta water. Rinse the pasta in cold water to stop it from sticking together.
Add 1 tbsp of oil to the cauliflower on the baking tray along with a generous pinch of salt and mix well and put in the preheated oven to bake for 10-15 mins until golden.
In a mug add 2 tbsp of oil, 1 tsp of garlic powder, some of the fresh thyme removed from the stalk and a pinch of salt and mix well. Use a spoon or pastry brush and brush both sides of each slice of bread with the oil mixture. Slice the bread into 3cm squares and place on a baking tray and bake for 4 mins and turn the bread and bake for a further 2 mins. Remove and allow to cool.
Blend the cashews, lemon juice, 1 tsp garlic powder, nutritional yeast, 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of ground black pepper in a high speed blender until very smooth.
Add the cashew alfredo sauce to a large wide non-stick pan over a low to medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring so the sauce doesn’t stick. Add the pasta and toss gently until fully coated in the sauce. If the sauce is a little thick simply add some of the pasta water or if it is too thin simmer a little longer to thicken it.
Remove the baked cauliflower from the oven and add ½ to the pasta sauce.
Serve in pasta bowls with the remaining baked cauliflower on top including the leaves and serve with some croutons on the side